It’s no secret: I love Twitter. When used strategically, Twitter is a great way to network, meet new people in your field, and get breaking news. It can also be an overwhelming firehose of random content. With a little forethought, though, you can dial down the firehose. Here are my tips on using Twitter to keep up with PPC news & innovations.
Include “PPC” in your Twitter bio.
Part of making good use of Twitter is getting followed. When people follow you, they’ll see your tweets and, hopefully, interact with you. People who are new to Twitter often use the “people search” function to find other people to follow – and they’re searching on keywords like “PPC.” Including “PPC” in your Twitter bio will help you get found by other PPC pros, with whom you can then interact and share info.
Follow other PPC pros.
A lot of celebrities have thousands of followers, but are only following 12 people. This isn’t really interacting – it’s broadcasting. While that’s fine for celebs, Twitter is much more useful for you and me if it’s a two-way conversation.
Make an effort to find other PPC pros and follow them. You can use the people search feature I mentioned above to start. Another great way to find people is to do a hashtag search. Hashtags are used on Twitter to sort conversation around a certain topic or catch phrase. Search for hashtags like #PPC, #SEM, and #Adwords. I’ve found a lot of great new PPC’ers to follow in #PPCchat (by the way, if you’re doing PPC and are not not currently participating in this chat, you’re missing a ton of great info!).
Set up a list or column for PPC pros.
Finding great PPC pros to follow is cool, but they’ll get lost in your Twitter stream quickly (unless you ONLY follow PPC people, which most of us don’t). If you’re using the Twitter web interface, create a list for PPC pros and then add your new friends to it. If you’re using a desktop client like Tweetdeck, create a column for PPC pros, and add your friends there.
I personally love Tweetdeck: it’s much easier to sort conversations there than in the web interface, in my opinion. I have a column for PPC Tweeps, another for #PPCChat, and yet another for conferences I attend, such as #SESCHI (SES Chicago) and #SMX (SMX Advanced).
Lists or columns are awesome when you’re really busy. I almost never read my entire Twitter feed during the work day; I just don’t have time. But I do make sure to read my PPC Tweeps column – that way I can keep up with what’s going on in my industry, and even interact a bit, without it sucking up hours of my day.
Learn who always shares worthwhile & trustworthy content.
Let’s face it: we’re all guilty of sharing the occasional off-topic, personal, or silly remarks and links on Twitter. That’s fine – in fact, it personalizes the experience and lets us all get to know one another as people instead of just PPC’ers.
That said, you’ll find that some people’s Twitter stream is 10% personal and 90% good & useful PPC info; while other people’s streams are just the opposite. Unfortunately, some people also use Twitter for sales pitches disguised as good info. They’ll tweet a link with a comment like “New techniques for PPC keyword research!” but then the link goes to a page to buy their company’s expensive tool.
If you’re in the market for a keyword research tool, that’ll be helpful to you. If not, though, you probably don’t care – and neither do your followers. Retweeting is a big part of interacting on Twitter – it’s a great way to share useful info with your followers. But you need to know what you’re retweeting; your followers may not appreciate being baited into clicking a link that turns out to be a sales pitch.
The bottom line is this: Twitter, like any social media, is a conversation. Treat it as such. People don’t want to hang out with blatant shills in real life; nor do they want to be barraged with personal details. People do want to learn things that will help make their jobs easier, though. With a little forethought, and a little more practice, you’ll find Twitter to be an invaluable resource.
What are your favorite ways to get PPC info on Twitter?